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Meatballs soup

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I recently learned there are many meatballs soup varieties – Mexican, Italian and even Indonesian. However, the one I am describing below – supa topcheta – is very popular in Bulgaria. It’s a classic cooked at almost every Bulgarian home and a school canteen staple. Yes, it brings back vivid memories from my childhood (and I guess it has the same effect on many of my friends’ too).
So without saying that meatballs soup is a Bulgarian invention, we decided to include it in our traditional Bulgarian recipes – it’s that popular in Bulgaria.Meatballs soup

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 50 minutes


For the meatballs:
150g ground meat (beef or mixed beef and pork)
50g onions, finely chopped
80g white rice (40g for the meatballs, the rest goes directly into the soup)
1 egg
50g all-purpose flour
few leaves spearmint, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the soup:
3 carrots (around 100g), peeled and diced
50g celery roots, peeled and diced
Juice of ¼ lemon
100ml yogurt
2 egg yolk
20ml olive oil
2 tbsp flat leaves parsley, chopped


First you need to prepare the meat balls. In a bowl mix together the ground meat, onions, spearmint, half of the rice, pinch of salt, some ground black pepper and the egg. Leave it aside for few minutes, so the mixture can absorb better the aromas.

Pinch some of the ground meat mixture and with both hands roll a small ball (bigger than a nutmeg, smaller than a walnut). If you prefer, you can use a teaspoon as a measure and as a tool for rolling. Roll the meatballs in flour and shake off any excess. Proceed this way with the rest of the meat.

Meantime in a big saucepan heat 1,5l of water till boiling. Add a pinch of salt and when wildly boiling begin to add the meatballs in batches. When all the meatballs are in the water, add the rest of the rice, carrots and celery. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 20-25 minutes, or till the carrots are tender and the rice is ready.

When rice is cooked it’s time to thicken the soup.  Beat the egg yolk in a bowl, add the yogurt and lemon juice, beat well again and then start adding in a little of the hot soup, with a thin stream and constant stirring. Finally, add the thickener into the soup and sprinkle over the chopped parsley.

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8 comments to Meatballs soup

  • Alice

    Lol! I can’t believe you post this recipe :) Even only your picture recalls memories!
    By the way, I think my mom use to add some chopped fresh tomato in it.

    • :) there is something magic in this dish, don’t you think? A real “time machine”! I’m happy I cook it after so many years.

  • Anelche

    I alike thisa dish alot!
    (govoria mouko bulgarski)

  • Anelche


  • Lucy

    Ох, тази супичка! И как само изглежда… От години не съм я яла :) Ще я направя съвсем скоро по вашата рецепта! Мерси

  • Rosemary Reitmeier

    Hi, I just stumbled across your site,I was looking for a recipe for “supa topcheta”,(it seems to be a childrens

    favorite dish on the Saturday morning children’s talent show in Bulgaria (can.t remember what is called) to make for my little grandsons in Canada. I love your concept and presentation of recipes.as, well as international ideas about cooking, safe kitchen practices, subsitutions (can’t find everything (yet) in Bulgaria…but slowly).
    I hope they will enjoy it, although I will skip the yougurt addition for now.

    Keep up the good work, and congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby girl!

  • Bulgarian cuisine

    [...] SOUP TOPCHETA (Soup with small meatballs) – traditional soup in Bulgaria. [...]

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